PIER Innovation Events 2016

Photograph: Marta Mayer/DESY

PIER Innovation Day, 17-18 March 2016

Patents, licenses and start-ups from science – Hamburg is right up there with other research locations in Germany. However, for young researchers interested in starting their own business with an innovative idea from science it is sometimes difficult to find one’s bearings in Hamburg’s complex innovation and start-up scene. Apart from numerous successful spin-offs, there are many institutions that counsel spin-offs or offer funding. In addition, there are theme-focused innovation clusters and metropolitan bodies to stimulate Hamburg’s innovation culture. Last but not least, each research institution maintains its own support and consulting organization.

PIER Innovation Day 2016 – a path through the thicket
The aim of the PIER Innovation Day 2016 was to cut through this thicket and give a concise overview of the different actors and activities in this field. The workshop consisted of two parts. In cooperation with the CUI Graduate Days, the first part included two workshops on start-ups. During these workshops, PhD students and postdocs learned how the world of start-ups differs from academia and discovered how typical obstacles can be overcome. The second day involved several plenary talks giving an outline of the Hamburg innovation scene.

The panel speakers
The panel included speakers from current successful spin-offs at the University of Hamburg and DESY as well as representatives of research-related support services, e.g. the technology transfer departments of the University of Hamburg and DESY, the HITeC society from the department of informatics of the University of Hamburg or the TuTech from the Hamburg University of Technology. Two important Hamburg funding agencies, IFB Innovationsstarter and High-Tech Gründerfonds, gave an overview of their programs. Moreover, Peter Grambow from Nanoinitiative Bayern talked about the relevance of networks for the advancement of nanotechnology in industry and research and, based on his vast experience, provided a helpful list of “dos and don’ts.”

Developments and perspectives
The workshop made clear that in the past few years there has been a great increase in activity in the field of innovation in Hamburg. Eight years after the launch of the Innovation Alliance Hamburg, the planning of incubators at three different locations in Hamburg brings new life to the project. At the same time, the PIER Innovation Day showed that there is even more potential, particularly on the science campus in Hamburg Bahrenfeld. To exploit this potential, a close cooperation between the various actors is of great importance. This enables powerful new formats to be further developed and advanced thus helping to transform an innovative research idea into an economically viable product.

PIER Innovation Day panel speakers:

Innovation in Hamburg
- Co-Innovation in Hamburg - Florian Vogt

  Successful start-up examples
- Spectrum GmbH - Stefanie Jack
- suna precision GmbH - Nicolas Stübe
- Baqend GmbH - Felix Gessert
- BIOSAXS GmbH - Tobias Gräwert
- Cycle GmbH - Damian Barre

  Funding options and best practice
- DESY Technology Transfer - Katja Kroschewski
- University of Hamburg - Barbara Lederer
- KEYS AND FACTS - Dörte Bunge
- Ballastfreier Technologietransfer am Fachbereich Informatik - Bernd Neumann
- TuTech & Hamburg Innovation - Martin Mahn
- High-Tech Gründerfonds: Leading seed investor in Germany - Ansgar Kirchheim
- Dos and Don'ts - Peter Grambow